Crystal Lake Police Roll Out Sex Offender Watch Program for Halloween

A press release from the Crystal Lake Police Department:

Crystal Lake Police Department announces their startup of the most innovative and collaborative national sex offender program, OffenderWatch.

Crystal Lake Police Chief David Linder announced they are the newest McHenry County area law enforcement agency to implement  OffenderWatch to manage registered sex offenders in the community. OffenderWatch enables Illinois law enforcement agencies to collaborate and share information with law enforcement partners statewide. This collaboration provides law enforcement agencies information concerning sex offender movements, history and activities anywhere in the county, state or country.

A screen from the new Crystal Lake Police Department sex offender program.

OffenderWatch  is supplied and supported by Watch Systems, LLC and is currently in use by more than 1,000 jurisdictions in 39 states to register, track and disseminate community information regarding sex offenders. Nearly half the registered sex offenders in the United States are in  OffenderWatchdatabases, available for searching or importing.

The  OffenderWatch program implements an innovative electronic registration and interagency pre-registration.

The program has an alerting system designed especially for Illinois processes – when an offender is registered with the Sheriff’s Office or the Police Department, that information is immediately and electronically made available to the managing agency where the offender lives, such as the Crystal Lake Police Department.

Crystal Lake officers will then contact and interview the offender, verify their address, collect additional data, arrange the community notification, and verify the address does not violate a safety buffer.

All offender data collected is now housed in an electronic, internet accessible form. Any law enforcement officer who needs the information concerning the offender, or has information to share, can access the record.

In addition, all data collected on the offender follows with him/her as they move from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, enabling enhanced supervision by law enforcement.

The Crystal Lake Police Department is also enabling on their web site, a citizen-friendly, very easy to use, sex offender registry, allowing citizens to search for registered sex offenders in proximity to their homes, place of work, schools and day cares.

OffenderWatch also provides the Community Notifications that can be sent to all citizens in close proximity to offender addresses, as required by Illinois law. All partner agency databases are linked together, enabling seamless display of offenders from any jurisdiction in the county or region.

The  OffenderWatch database enables citizens anywhere in the Crystal Lake city limits, plus OffenderWatch participating neighboring jurisdictions, to see maps and receive email notifications concerning offenders near any address important to them.

Citizens may enter any address of interest and see a map and listing of offenders within their preferred radius.

Then, they may confidentially register the address to continuously receive emails alerting them if an offender or predator should register an address within their preferred radius.

Usually, citizens will register their

  • homes,
  • work addresses,
  • parks,
  • playgrounds,
  • bus stops or
  • other addresses of interest.

Citizens may also confidentially register to be notified if a specific offender, who they wish to track, moves from his/her present address. Citizens may register as many addresses as they like, at no cost to them.

With Halloween rapidly approaching, this is a great resource for parents to know which houses are safe and which should be avoided while trick or treating.  Citizens may access the Crystal Lake Police Department OffenderWatch Community Web Page 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week at the Crystal Lake Police Department’s web site at


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